Sarratt Festival of Music 2017
This year's festival was on the 22nd, 23rd, 29th, 30th September.

Some of the audience reactions: --

'I was blown away by last night's concert.   A wonderful evening - well done!   What a beautiful musical relationship they have.'

'Thanks. Last night was wonderful.'

'I have been attending the festival for years - and never been to a poor concert!'

'Please pass on to the SFM Committee, and all those who helped with the productions, our thanks for an amazing series of concerts.  It is almost unbelievable the quality of musicians you manage to get to play in our Village Hall.'


The opening concert on Friday 22nd September was the virtuoso violinist Tasmin Little performing works by Brahms, Arvo Pärt and Beethoven with pianist Andrey Gugnin (winner of the Sydney International piano competition 2106).

Violinist Tasmin Little OBE has firmly established herself as one of today’s leading international violinists. She has performed on every continent in some of the most prestigious venues in the world. Her multi award winning and varied career encompasses international concerto and recital performances, masterclasses, workshops and community outreach work. Tasmin’s recording of the Elgar violin concerto With Sir Andrew David and the Royal National Scottish Orchestra was awarded the ‘Critics Choice Award’ in the Classic Brit Awards. Lavish reviews followed her recent recording of the Britten violin concert with the BBC Philharmonic  - ‘a rapturous disc’ and ‘her virtuosity is breath taking’. 

Tasmin plays a 1757 Guadagnini violin.

Pianist Andrey Gugnin was born in 1987, and graduated from the Moscow State Tchaikovsky Conservatory.  He has won many international prizes, including in 2014 the Gold Medal and Audience Prize at the International Gina Bachauer Piano Competition in Salt lake City, USA.  In 2016 he was awarded 1st prize in the Sydney International Piano Competition.  He subsequently received engagements including concerts with Valery Gergiev, the London Philharmonic Orchestra,  and recordings with Hyperion. Andrey has regularly toured as a recitalist and soloist with orchestras in more than 20 countries.

The programme included:
BRAHMS Sonatensatz
ARVO PART – Fratres
PROKOFIEV – Sonata in D
BEETHOVEN – Kreutzer sonata

The concert on Saturday 23rd of September featured the Heath String Quartet with pianist Hannes Minnaar in works by Haydn, Schubert and Shostakovich.

Oliver Heath – violin, Sara Wolstenholme- violin, Gary Pomeroy – viola, Christopher Murray – cello.

The Quartet  is one of the most exciting British chamber ensembles, and is being showcased by the Emerging Talent Scheme of the Wigmore Hall.

The Quartet’s debut CD was released in autumn 2015 on the Wigmore LIVE label, featuring the Tippett quartets won the Gramophone Chamber Award 2016. This season there will be new recordings available on the Harmonia Mundi label, with 2 releases featuring Tchaikovsky’s 1st and 3rd quartets and the complete Bartok quartets.

In 2017 they were performing throughout the UK, and in Berlin, Seattle, Washington and Toronto, as well as in Sarratt.  They have previously made their debut in New York at both Carnegie Hall and the Lincoln Centre.

Hannes Minnaar studied at the Amsterdam Conservatory, and received critical acclaim after winning prizes at the Queen Elisabeth Competition and the Geneva International Music Competition. He has been a soloist with many orchestras, including the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, with eminent conductors such as Marin Alsop. He has given recitals throughout Europe and around the world.  His solo albums are highly acclaimed.On his second album, Gramophone wrote ‘After Minnaar’s debut disc, this makes 2 hits in a row’. BBC Music Magazine selected it as ‘instrumental disc of the month’, and awarded it 5 stars.

Their programme included:
HAYDN String Quartet in B minor op.33 no.1
SCHUBERT Piano sonata in A major D.664

The following Friday 29th September was O Duo, the sparkling and original percussion ensemble playing a highly entertaining programme.

O Duo’s mixture of popular classics arranged for tuned percussion, vibrant drumming from across the globe, and accessible contemporary works, all presented with relaxed and informative chat from the duo have been captivating a huge variety of audiences for over 10 years now. A typical recital programme ranges from Bach to Brubeck and beyond, and features a whole stage full of fascinating tuned and untuned percussion instruments.

The grand finale on Saturday 30th September was the Budapest Café orchestra, led by the brilliant violinist Chris Garrick, returning by popular demand.